Image: Scillystuff
Image: Scillystuff

Will the high street become a thing of the past as we turn to the internet for all of our retail therapy needs? Research from Yomdel predicts the complete death of the high street by 2082, but that it will contract by a half by 2044.

 

Using retail sales data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), Yomdel analysed data on the proportion of retail sales already carried out online. The conclusion: the prominence of online shopping has grown dramatically since 2007.

In 2007, the average number of online sales as a proportion of all retailing was just 3.3 per cent but so far in 2018, online sales already account for 17.5 per cent of all retail transactions. This has grown steadily over the last 10 and a half years at an average increase of 1.29 per cent a year.

Following this trend, the research shows that by 2024, a quarter of all retailing could be done online, with this hitting 50 per cent by 2044. While it looks set to take some time longer, this could increase to three-quarters of all retailing by 2063, with the bricks and mortar retail outlet becoming instinct by 2082 as 100 per cent of retailing moves online.

Business growth expert and Yomdel CEO, Andy Soloman, commented:
“As a company that has pioneered innovation in business through technology, we welcome any development that can help improve a business, both from a professional and consumer standpoint. This research shows how prominent technology and the internet is becoming in our day-to-day shopping habits, and further innovation to the retail sector could even see the high street struggle to compete a lot sooner than these figures suggest.

However, we believe the human element is absolutely vital in commerce – even with the best technology – and particularly when dealing with complex customer enquiries. Rather than the high street becoming obsolete, we like to believe it will survive and evolve to deal with the changing face of consumer behaviour as people will always value that personal aspect that a physical shop provides.

What’s perhaps more important for high street retailers to consider, is how they not only pivot with the times but integrate a successful solution into their current offering to accommodate a growing preference for customers to approach and engage with their business online. This could be through a more engaging website, web-based contact options such as automated contact forms, a well-formed FAQs section or a managed live chat service. The internet isn’t going away, but there’s more than enough room for everyone to exist and to use it to our benefit.”

Table shows current data between 2007 and 2018 and predicted proportion of online sales based on average yearly increase.
Year Online sales as a proportion of total retail sales Change
2007 3.30% N/A
2008 4.90% 1.60%
2009 6.20% 1.30%
2010 7.20% 1.00%
2011 8.20% 1.00%
2012 9.20% 1.00%
2013 10.40% 1.20%
2014 11.30% 0.90%
2015 12.40% 1.10%
2016 14.20% 1.80%
2017 16.20% 2.00%
2018 (to date) 17.50% 1.30%
2019 18.79% 1.29%
2020 20.08% 1.29%
2021 21.37% 1.29%
2022 22.66% 1.29%
2023 23.95% 1.29%
2024 25.24% 1.29%
2025 26.53% 1.29%
2026 27.82% 1.29%
2027 29.11% 1.29%
2028 30.40% 1.29%
2029 31.69% 1.29%
2030 32.98% 1.29%
2031 34.27% 1.29%
2032 35.56% 1.29%
2033 36.85% 1.29%
2034 38.14% 1.29%
2035 39.43% 1.29%
2036 40.72% 1.29%
2037 42.01% 1.29%
2038 43.30% 1.29%
2039 44.59% 1.29%
2040 45.88% 1.29%
2041 47.17% 1.29%
2042 48.46% 1.29%
2043 49.75% 1.29%
2044 51.04% 1.29%
2045 52.33% 1.29%
2046 53.62% 1.29%
2047 54.91% 1.29%
2048 56.20% 1.29%
2049 57.49% 1.29%
2050 58.78% 1.29%
2051 60.07% 1.29%
2052 61.36% 1.29%
2053 62.65% 1.29%
2054 63.94% 1.29%
2055 65.23% 1.29%
2056 66.52% 1.29%
2057 67.81% 1.29%
2058 69.10% 1.29%
2059 70.39% 1.29%
2060 71.68% 1.29%
2061 72.97% 1.29%
2062 74.26% 1.29%
2063 75.55% 1.29%
2064 76.84% 1.29%
2065 78.13% 1.29%
2066 79.42% 1.29%
2067 80.71% 1.29%
2068 82.00% 1.29%
2069 83.29% 1.29%
2070 84.58% 1.29%
2071 85.87% 1.29%
2072 87.16% 1.29%
2073 88.45% 1.29%
2074 89.74% 1.29%
2075 91.03% 1.29%
2076 92.32% 1.29%
2077 93.61% 1.29%
2078 94.90% 1.29%
2079 96.19% 1.29%
2080 97.48% 1.29%
2081 98.77% 1.29%
2082 100.06% 1.29%